close
Share with your friends

Ireland & United Kingdom – Update on Family Immigration and Northern Ireland

Ireland & UK–Update on Family Imm & Northern Ireland

The U.K. has updated its family immigration rules for Northern Ireland to allow the non-European Economic Area family members of those born in Northern Ireland to make a valid application under the EU settlement scheme rather than satisfying the stricter U.K. immigration rules. This arose from the recent new deal that was agreed by the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as the political parties in Northern Ireland, to reinstate devolved power sharing in Northern Ireland.

1000

CONTACTS

Related content

flash-alert-2020-236

A statement of changes to the Immigration Rules released on 14 May 20201 provides for specific family immigration rules for those born in Northern Ireland.

The statement follows the “New Decade, New Approach” deal between the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as the political parties in Northern Ireland, which reinstated devolved power sharing in Northern Ireland. (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-011, 16 January 2020.)

In this GMS Flash Alert, we highlight the changes which are to take effect from 24 August 2020.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The U.K. has enacted specific family immigration rules for those born in Northern Ireland, which shows a recognition of the unique nature of Northern Ireland in an immigration context.

The changes will allow the non-European Economic Area (EEA) family members of those born in Northern Ireland (and who are entitled to British or Irish nationality by virtue of their birth in Northern Ireland) to make a valid application under the European Union (EU) settlement scheme rather than satisfying the stricter U.K. immigration rules. 

What Does This Development Mean?

Currently the non-EEA family members of a person who holds British nationality cannot make a valid application under the EU settlement scheme. The U.K. position until now has been that anyone born in Northern Ireland holds British nationality. This is particularly problematic in a Northern Ireland context due to the complexity around nationality and identity. (For related coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-011, 16 January 2020.)

In an attempt to overcome these issues from 24 August 2020, the statement of changes provides that the family

members of those born in Northern Ireland (and who are entitled to British or Irish nationality by virtue of their birth in Northern Ireland) are now within the scope of the EU settlement scheme. As such, the immigration route will be available to the family members of those born in Northern Ireland, regardless of whether the person holds British or Irish citizenship. 

Consequently, a person born in Northern Ireland may be able to bring non-EEA family members to the U.K. under the more favourable EU immigration rules in comparison to those born elsewhere in the United Kingdom. In addition, any non-EEA family members of a person born in Northern Ireland who is already in the U.K., may make an application under the EU settlement scheme. Those born in Northern Ireland will not be required to renounce British citizenship in order for their family member to make an EU settlement scheme application.

The situation for those born in Northern Ireland and who are not automatically entitled to British or Irish nationality is more complex. They will not automatically be able to avail of the concessionary arrangements set out in the statement of changes. However, if at the time of their birth their parents resided in Northern Ireland without any restriction on their period of residence, they may be able to avail of these provisions.

KPMG NOTE

When making a U.K. family immigration application, employers and immigration practitioners should consider the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland. In particular, consideration should be given to whether a person was born in Northern Ireland before advising on or submitting an application.

* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Ireland.

SUBSCRIBE

To subscribe to GMS Flash Alert, fill out the subscription form.

© 2020 2020 KPMG, an Irish partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organisation please visit https://home.kpmg/governance.

Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

Connect with us

 

Want to do business with KPMG?

 

loading image Request for proposal